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24
Apr

This article was originally published by Debra Bruce at Raising the Bar Law Practice Management Thoughts and Tips on March 20, 2012.  Debra is President of Lawyer-Coach LLC.   She draws on her extensive legal experience, as well as a degree in Psychology and well over 500 hours in training as a professional coach, to help lawyers improve their management skills, increase productivity and bring in more business.

This week I had the privilege of participating in the virtual professionals round table discussion sponsored by The Paralegal Mentor.  After hearing each other’s stories as to how we ended up as virtual professionals in the legal services industry, the discussion quickly turned to technology.

The very next day Law Technology News published the article Virtual Paralegals Move Legal Work Online.  LTN’s news editor Brendan McKenna covered the bases by gathering information from at least 9 different paralegals, myself included, concerning the definition of virtual paralegal, inspiration for starting a virtual paralegal business, and the technology used.  McKenna even registers the preference of several paralegals to be described as freelance rather than virtual.

Participation in both of these discussions with at least 12 other virtual paralegal professionals led me to the following conclusions:

  • A top-notch virtual paralegal should have technology options in her toolbox.
  • There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to customizing a technology support package for a virtual paralegal partnership.  Different attorneys, different practice areas, different clients, and different cases require different tools.
  • The possible combinations of technology tools are endless, and those possibilities change daily.
  • The virtual paralegal should be a knowledgeable consultant who presents options and insists that the attorney be part of that decision-making process. These are not always easy decisions.  An attorney depends on the virtual paralegal for experience and expertise in this area.
  • The attorney may not review every available feature, but he should have a firm grasp of what tools are being used.
  • The virtual paralegal should stay abreast of software updates and alert the attorney when security weaknesses are discovered by the software manufacturer.  Together a decision can be made as to whether any changes are required.

Technology Toolbox: a few of our favorite things

 

File Sharing

Sugar Sync

Dropbox

Box

YouSendIt

Document and Word Processing

Microsoft Office

Google Docs

OpenOffice

PDF Files

Adobe Acrobat Professional

Legal Practice Management (Online)

Clio

Firm Manager

HoudiniESQ

Livia Legal

Rocket Matter

Legal Brief Tools

Best Authority

Calendars and Deadlines

Deadlines.com

Westlaw Legal Calendaring

Deadline Direct

Deadline and Filing Calculator

Category : Tips / Tools

2 Responses to “Technology Toolbox: These are a few of our favorite things…”


Adrienne Meachum April 7, 2013

Hi I’m Adrienne Meachum and I am a Paralegal. I found this article to very informative for virtual paralegals. This is a new option for paralegals. I am constantly staying abreast with new technology because I am also a Training and Development Professional who deals with learning technologies in higher learning. I see in your toolbox inclusion lots of new technology to be used for the virtual paralegal, the legal technologies I learned seem to be kind of obsolete. It is a great help to know what current technology will be needed in updating the Technology Toolboxes we already have in place. I found this article very helpful, useful, motivating and engaging.

Thanks for Sharing,

Adrienne